Search wraps up for remains of teen who disappeared from Kenton County nearly 40 years ago

Updated: Jun. 4, 2019 at 4:28 PM EDT
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FALMOUTH, Ky. (FOX19) - Teams have wrapped up their search of a Pendleton County park for the remains of a teen who disappeared in August 1980, according to the Kenton County Police Department.

Det. Brian Jones says authorities were looking at Lake Kincaid State Park for the remains of Randy Sellers, but nothing was found that led them to believe he might have been there.

“Although no new developments resulted from the search, this case will continue to remain open and any new leads will be thoroughly investigated,” Capt. Alan Johnson of the Kenton County Police Department said.

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Kenton County authorities say in 1994 a convicted serial killer by the name of Donald Leroy Evans said he’d been at the park with Sellers. They brought Evans to an area where we’re told he didn’t say word, but this was after he had already pointed out the location on a map. Nothing came out of that investigation, but more recently a park ranger who was reviewing the case determined something which sent search teams back to Lake Kincaid State Park.

Johnson says the map may have been upside down.

“So it’s been years and years since there was any leads or any developments to really take us anywhere, so when this one came up we jumped on it,” Johnson said.

Kentucky State Parks, Pendleton County Sheriff’s Department, Kenton County Emergency Management, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and students from Towson University working together in the search.

“I never want students to forget that we are not looking for victims. We are looking for people. We are looking for brothers, fathers, sons and sisters and mothers,” Dana Kollman, Associate Clinical Professor at Towson University, said.

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“What we have is a family who’s son has been missing since he was 17-years-old. They need some closure, so it’s our obligation to serve them to the best of our ability to help them locate and bring them some closure after all of these years,” Johnson said.

Sellers, who was 17 years old at the time of his disappearance, was at the Kenton County Fair where police say he was intoxicated and got into a fist fight. Officers were called out and picked Sellers up, but instead of taking him to a holding cell, they decided to drive him to his home in Visalia. Sellers reportedly asked those two officers to drop him off about a mile away so he could sober up before going home, but he never made it there.

One theory about Sellers’ disappearance had him drowning in the Licking River, but investigators searched there and found nothing.

A few convicted killers claimed they murdered Sellers, but none of those claims panned out.

The case has never been ruled a homicide. It’s filed as a missing persons case.

“We don’t stop. It may end at this particular location but our investigators will go back and review the case again. There are regular reviews of the Randy Sellers case. It remains open with us until he’s found," Johnson said.

If you have any tips that could help authorities in this case, you’re urged to contact Kenton County Police.

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